Today: Chips Moman is 75

One of the most important characters in the Memphis music scene in the 60’s.

From Wikipedia:

Lincoln Wayne “Chips” Moman (born, June 12, 1937 La Grange, Georgia, United States) is an American record producer, guitarist, and songwriter. As a record producer, Moman is known for recording Elvis PresleyBobby WomackCarla Thomas, and Merrilee Rush, as well as guiding the career of the Box Tops in Memphis, Tennessee during the 1960s. As a songwriter, he is responsible for standards associated with Aretha FranklinJames CarrWaylon Jennings, and B. J. Thomas. He has been a session guitarist for Franklin and other musicians.

In Memphis, he began an association with Satellite Records (later Stax Records), producing their first hit single, Carla Thomas’s 1960 “Gee Whiz.” He also produced the first single for the Stax subsidiary label Volt, “Burnt Biscuits” b/w “Raw Dough,” by the Triumphs, whose members included future Al Green and drummer Howard Grimes. Leaving Stax in 1964 after a monetary dispute with label founder Jim Stewart, he began operating his own Memphis recording studio, American Sound Studio.

There he, along with guitarists Reggie Young and Bobby Womack, bassist Tommy Cogbill, pianist and organist Bobby Emmons, and drummer Gene Chrisman, recorded the Box Tops, Womack, Merrilee RushMark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders), Sandy Posey (notably “Single Girl“), Joe TexWilson PickettHerbie Mann and Petula Clark. Although Dusty Springfield‘s 1969 Dusty in Memphis album was recorded at American Sound Studios, Moman did not produce the album (that credit went jointly to Tom DowdJerry Wexler and Arif Mardin).

Moman produced Elvis Presley’s 1969 album, From Elvis in Memphis which included the hit songs “In The Ghetto“. “Suspicious Minds” and “Kentucky Rain“.

During this period Moman co-wrote “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” (recorded by Aretha Franklin) with fellow Memphis producer and songwriter Dan Penn; and “The Dark End of the Street“, which became the best-known song of the soul singer James Carr.

Dark End Of The Street (Moman / Penn) – Here a Dan Penn version:

During the late 1960s and early 1970s Moman’s studio experienced an unprecedented run of hits in the music industry, producing more than 120 charting singles by pop, soul, and country artists. On several occasions during this period, more than 20 of Billboard’s Hot 100 songs were produced at American Sound.

I’ve created a quick Spotify Playlist of songs Moman’s either written or produced/engineerd. The order is no coincident :-)

Other June-12:

  • Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea (born June 12, 1941) is an American jazz pianist, keyboardist, and composer.Many of his compositions are considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis‘ band in the 1960s, he participated in the birth of the electric jazz fusion movement. In the 1970s he formed Return to Forever. Along with Herbie HancockMcCoy Tyner and Keith Jarrett, he has been described as one of the major jazz piano voices to emerge in the post-John Coltrane era.His career has been driven by his will to operate as a free agent and compulsively explore different avenues of music making. This hunger has positioned him as an important catalyst in the world of serious, mainstream acoustic jazz, and he is one of the most influential and widely studied figures in the last 40 years.


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